Boniu was sick and Confucius went to visit him.

Confucius held Boniu’s hand through the window and said, “We’re going to lose him. It must be fate that a man like this is dying and there’s nothing we can do about it.”


Confucius said, “The phoenix hasn’t come and the river hasn’t produced its chart. It’s all over for me, isn’t it?”


Sima Niu was in distress. He said, “Everyone has brothers! I alone have none!”

Zixia said, “I have heard a proverb:

Life and death are up to fate,

Wealth and honors are up to Heaven.’

“Because the noble person behaves with reverence and tries to be free of error, is courteous to others and behaves with ritual correctness, all within the Four Seas are his brothers. How can a noble person worry about not having brothers?”